Save the bucks or let it ride? Good Neighbor versus Resorts


This past vacation, we stayed at the Annabella Hotel. The hotel was relatively close to Disneyland and it’s selling point is that it is directly behind Disneyland California Adventure. See the map (red oval) was our hotel, the green lines are the only entries into the parks.

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 8.47.39 AM

We had to walk west on Katella and north on Disneyland Drive every time we wanted to get to the park. It killed us. Especially with the heat being at 99 with 80% humidity rate! I don’t think this is normal for California but it was our reality for this trip.


You start out rather optimistic, thinking that it’s not so bad but the break in the magic is what made me sad.


You don’t go right from magic theme park to magic hotel but you cross the busy street where there is no more theming. You know that the hotel is there for you but it’s not dedicated to your happiness. They did their best but when you show up and your room that you book is “out of commission” and then they offer a much smaller room, you know it’s not the same experience.

Check in went like this:
-Here for check-in.
Hotel: Your room is not available.
Me: Oh no. What are my options?
Hotel: A smaller room with smaller beds.
Me: Is that all you have?
Hotel: Yes.
Me: Okay, let’s go with it. Will the rate be the same?
Hotel: Yes.
Me: What size beds?
Hotel: Full.
Me: Oh no. We have to have at least 1 queen.  Any chance at a single Queen or King with a roll away for my oldest daughter?
Hotel: Yes.
Me: We’ll take that.
Hotel: We will waive the roll away fee of $20 a night. And we’ll take care of the parking fee.
Me: Okay. Thanks.
(in my mind, that should have been already a freebie since the room I reserved was not ready)
—— walk to room——

Room is right next to staff laundry, next to street, there is tons of laundry and big bins right by our door. REALLY? This is what you give us?

I wish I took a picture of the chaos.
Then, I take one look at the size of the room and I know immediately that it’s not going to happen. With the roll away, I know we are fire hazard. Izzy’s bed blocks the way to the bathroom and the “Living space”.

I walked back over and the manager made it right by booking us into a suite. The suite had it’s own room for my eldest.

Then it took us about an hour to figure out why it was so freakin’ hot! Someone had left all the windows open! When we finally closed all the windows and washed the little bugs out of the tub, we were able to settle down for the night.


We still did only end up with 2 full so my husband slept in one bed and my baby girl and I slept in another one. Our room wasn’t cleaned the first day but we wanted to sleep instead of have people clean our room. The 2nd and 3rd day, they got to our room while we were out.

There was very little storage for items. In a Disneyland Resort, you have ample space. Full size drawers for lots of clothes. AND the Housekeepers always set up our toys and blankets in nice assemblies.

In the past year’s we have stayed at: Paradise Pier (one time), Disneyland Hotel (2 times). They had always taken care of us.

Overall, if you don’t believe in the Disney magic you will be fine in a good neighbor hotel. But if you want the magic, stay in a Disneyland Resort Hotel!

Cheapest: Paradise Pier
Most Expensive: Grand Californian
Best Value: Disneyland Hotel (I LOVE THIS HOTEL!)

Here is the map for best bets for saving your feet if you stay at a Good Neighbor Hotel-

Here are my links for theming and hotels from my past trips:
Paradise Pier:
Disneyland Hotel:
Disneyland Hotel #2:

I have given a non-resort hotel a fair shake. Maybe I’ll go back again one day but it will be one across from the park. Until then 4 months from Paradise Pier!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Camille Clauson says:

    Interesting..What is the overall cost of a Disney trip for a family of 4? For the 4 days Or did you stay 5? Thinking it would be great for my son and his 2 kids to go sometime when they are here from NJ visiting Tucson.Thanks, Tia.

    1. Tia Tsosie-Begay says:

      Tickets and hotel at the lowest end will cost:
      Paradise Pier- $2972
      That would be a 4 day ticket. No park hopper.
      Food is what will get you. Eating on site is expensive. I would easily budget close to $150 a day for general food, not fancy Disneyland food.
      You can cut that down by bringing sandwiches for lunch or eating at the hotel for breakfast. Bring water into the park.
      If you give me a time frame and ages, I can get you a more firm price.

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